Spring is here and the lawn mowers are beginning to rumble. As you weigh your lawn maintenance choices, consider the following:
- Gas-powered lawn and gardening equipment contribute to 5% of the U.S.’s air pollution
- In one hour, one gasoline-powered lawn mower:
- pollutes the same as 40 late model cars
- emits the same amount of carbon dioxide as driving a new car 350 miles
- Almost 600 million gallons of gas are used in the U.S. for lawn mowers each year
- Hearing loss is possible at 85 decibels (dB) with gas-powered landscaping equipment operating between 85 dB and 110 dB.
For homeowners in the Montgomery County, MD area, there’s a cleaner new alternative to lawn care. New CarbonFree® Business Partner A.I.R. Lawn Care is an eco-friendly lawn care company that uses electric-powered lawn equipment charged with solar panels mounted on their trucks and trailers. A.I.R. stands for Atmosphere, Improvement and Renewal, and A.I.R. Lawn Care’s mission is to improve and renew the atmosphere while providing quality lawn care services.
To augment their sustainability and in recognition that they can’t eliminate all of their business-related carbon emissions, A.I.R. Lawn Care took the additional step to mitigate remaining operational emissions by joining the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program.
“Being a member of the original “green” industry, A.I.R. Lawn Care has always had a commitment to take care of the environment. However, we strive to do this in the most responsible way. We challenge homeowners to do the same by taking the A.I.R. Dare™ and using eco-friendly lawn care,” explains Zack Kline, CEO and Founder of A.I.R. Lawn Care. “As part of being responsible, we chose to partner with Carbonfund.org to offset any carbon emissions generated from other activities of our operations. Carbonfund.org provides us the credibility to validate our carbon offsetting initiatives.”
We can all take steps to reduce carbon emissions by closely examining our daily activities and seeking out more energy efficient choices and cleaner energy solutions. Check your area for alternative lawn care solutions and environmentally responsible leaders in the lawn care industry like A.I.R. Lawn Care. Your family, neighbors, friends and the environment will all benefit.
The enduring premise of the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program, and key to the program’s ongoing success, is the simplicity of the commitment: recognize and measure the annual operational emissions of your business, do what you can to reduce those emissions, and then support carbon reduction projects to mitigate the negative impact of the business emissions you can’t yet eliminate.
Hundreds of businesses around the world have joined the program, and many have maintained a long-term commitment to remaining CarbonFree®. It fits easily within their business strategies, environmental commitment and operational budgets.
A great example is Gaia’s Delights, a CarbonFree® Partner for the past six years, following its founder’s focus on the environment as underscored by the company’s name. Gaia was the goddess of Earth in ancient Greek mythology, and Gaia means “Mother Earth”. Gaia’s Delights is the parent company for a number of businesses known for their commitment to fair trade practices and to small independent herbal farms and farmers. Keith Cleversley started the company in the late 1990′s while at the peak of his record production career. With the resources that Gaia’s Delights has gathered over the past years, the company now devotes much of its time to helping worthy causes, doing important research, and engaging in activities that help to preserve and improve the world’s environment.
"When searching for more ways to enhance our efforts to help to save this beautiful planet of ours, Carbonfund.org was the obvious choice and a shining example of what grass roots determination can accomplish," explains Keith. His ongoing devotion to developing enterprises that provide healthy products from the herbs and extracts found in nature, while supporting local farmers and communities and maintaining fair trade practices, demonstrates Keith’s continuous commitment to environmental sustainability that exemplifies our CarbonFree® Partners.
For many of our CarbonFree® Small Business Partners, it’s important to balance their intentions to provide sustainably-produced products to customers while minimizing their operational impact on the environment. These goals often require careful choices and thoughtful decisions in order to achieve the right equilibrium and stay true to the mission and goals of the business. New CarbonFree® Business Partner Just Skin Food struggled with this balancing act until they reached the right approach.
Just Skin Food offers handmade organic and naturally synthetic-free “skin food” products that support, nourish and heal. All of the herbal oils, salves and balms are made by hand, by using various infusing methods of organic herbs with unrefined, steam-distilled and cold-pressed ingredients. Most products are vegan, and all products are cruelty free and GMO-free.
Just Skin Food was started by Gabriella Calvi-Rooney. When she first launched Just Skin Foods, she chose NOT to sell anything online – she felt that generating a larger carbon footprint through packaging and shipping small quantities of her products was counter-intuitive to the healing that she hoped her products would accomplish. As a result, her products were offered locally in the Cape May, NJ area or hand-delivered by Gabriella when she traveled to other areas.
In a very short time, customer demand was so great that Gabriella felt compelled to create a website to enable customers to order her herbal products online. Now Gabriella had to decide how to minimize the carbon footprint for shipping such small items.
The CarbonFree® Business Partnership program was established to help businesses like Just Skin Foods address their impact on the environment. The program provides a simple, affordable means through which products and services can be delivered to customers while neutralizing operational emissions and supporting carbon reduction projects around the world.
Joining the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program was an easy and affordable solution that neutralized carbon emissions from Just Skin Food's operational activities and projected product shipments. Gabriella also established a minimum online order size, reuses shipping boxes from vendors, and only ships twice weekly to reduce carbon emissions associated with post office trips and shipments. In addition, she chose to use organic freshly popped popcorn as packaging material, which can be fed to the birds.
If your business is re-evaluating its social and environmental responsibilities and needs to its reduce operational impact, consider the example of Just Skin Food and the solutions we provide through our CarbonFree® Business Partnership program.
Even the most environmentally sensitive businesses know that their annual operations contribute to the increase in carbon emissions in our atmosphere, but the businesses that are truly committed to operational sustainability are taking simple and affordable steps to reduce their carbon footprint.
For the past six years, CarbonFree® Business Partner Arbor Teas has neutralized its annual operational emissions and its product shipment emissions in partnership with Carbonfund.org. Arbor Teas retails one of the largest selections of USDA-certified organic loose leaf teas from around the globe, most of which is Fair Trade, through its on-line store. In addition, Arbor Teas is committed to making a positive impact on the environment and has taken many steps to reduce emissions by offering only organic teas, reducing and “greening” its packaging and using renewable energy sources. However, their teas come from all corners of the world, so the shipping emissions are unavoidable. To mitigate these emissions, Arbor Teas has maintained a CarbonFree® Shipping program to offset the carbon footprint of annual product shipment emissions, and to offset all internal operational emissions, by supporting Carbonfund.org’s renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects.
“It makes no sense at all to sell an organic product if the method of delivering it to our customers is environmentally harmful,” says Jeremy Lopatin. “Although we do everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint, we’re happy to partner with Carbonfund.org to offset what we can’t avoid… yet!”
Almost three years ago, Arbor Teas became the first tea company to deliver its full line of organic loose teas in 100% backyard compostable packaging. With the release of this next generation packaging, Arbor Teas advanced its environmental mission, continuing to lead the tea industry through its staunch commitment to sustainable business practices. For the first time ever, tea drinkers are now able to compost their tea leaves AND tea packaging together in their home composting system. This innovative packaging is composed of a cellulose film made from wood pulp sourced from sustainably-managed trees, and the films used for Arbor Teas’ new packaging breaks down in a backyard compost setting.
Carbonfund.org applauds Arbor Teas’ long-term commitment to maintaining its CarbonFree® Operations and Shipping programs, and to its continuing innovation in the areas of product packaging and sourcing.
The American Forest and Paper Association continues to make strides as an industry intent on leading the expansion of paper recycling. The success of their “Better Practices, Better Planet 2020” initiative will be partly dependent upon consumer preferences shifting to products containing fully or partially recycled paper. In order to help close the “recycling loop”, “green” consumers must continue to seek out businesses that offer eco-conscious products featuring recycled paper, in order to expand the practice of paper recycling and the manufacturing, marketing and price-competitiveness of products containing recycled paper. CarbonFree® Business Partner Paper Culture was led by its strong environmental focus, one of the foundations upon which the company has built its business, to develop its product line on 100% post consumer recycled paper and to take additional measures to neutralize the carbon emissions from its business operations.
As part of its ongoing environmental commitment, Paper Culture took the important step five years ago to neutralize its annual operational emissions and become a CarbonFree® Partner. "In choosing Carbonfund.org, Paper Culture wanted a partner that had a strong, auditable record of driving additional green house gas reducing projects,” explains Christopher Wu, Paper Culture Owner. “When we looked at their marquee list of partners that includes names like Staples, Discovery Channel and Virgin, when combined with the audit trail provided by Environmental Resources Trust to verify the various Carbonfund.org projects, our decision was made."
Over the past five years, Paper Culture’s CarbonFree® commitment has neutralized its own operational emissions by steadily supporting Carbonfund.org's reforestation projects around the world, which reduce carbon dioxide emissions through tree planting and forestry management efforts.
Paper Culture is an online stationery company offering modern eco-friendly personalized stationery and cards such as baby announcements, holiday cards, and baby shower invitations. All Paper Culture card and stationery designs are printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper, and Paper Culture plants a tree in a US national forest with every order. These steps, together with the long-term commitment to CarbonFree® operations, underscore Paper Culture’s focus on environmental responsibility and demonstrate their sustainability leadership within the paper products industry.
Various studies have shown that a healthier lifestyle leads to a lower personal carbon footprint. Mother Nature Network cites five specific ways in which a person’s lifestyle choices and fitness can affect the environment and consumption of natural resources.
There are many options available for fitness instruction and nutritional counseling. CarbonFree® Business Partner BodyWorks Lifestyle, with five locations in the greater Orange County and Los Angeles area, provides fitness plans and environmental leadership to its clients and to the fitness industry. BodyWorks Lifestyle is not just about fitness, it’s about taking control—of your weight, your stress levels, your nutrition, your choices and your health, to reach your goals for overall wellness and personal training while reducing your carbon footprint and negative impact on the environment.
BodyWorks Lifestyle has chosen to take a leadership position in the fitness and healthy living industry by offsetting its annual operational emissions, supporting Carbonfund.org’s forestry projects around the world. They also donate 1% of their annual profits back to the planet and use environmentally friendly household cleaning products at their facility.
"We chose to partner with Cabonfund.org because we believed that, as a company, if we were to lead by example and help offset our carbon footprint, we could encourage our clients and business partners to do the same,” explains Huw Lloyd Davies, Founder of BodyWorks Lifestyle and a life-long fitness and outdoor enthusiast. “We believe that we all need to do our part to bring about sustainable change."
BodyWorks Lifestyle fitness coaches promote nutrition supplements and organic foods, environmentally renewable clothing suppliers, and run seminars on home energy efficiency for their clients. They also offer a wide range of outdoor fitness events to help clients develop their commitment to a more active lifestyle while learning what they can do to protect the natural resources in their community.
If your New Year’s resolutions include a renewed commitment to a healthy lifestyle, and a lower personal carbon footprint, start your exercise regime today, “green” your eating habits, and consider offsetting your annual work commuting or vehicle mileage through Carbonfund.org.
Recent research by a team from Tel Aviv University employed three NASA satellites to measure pollutants in the atmosphere over 189 of the world’s megacities, providing a new global standard for assessing levels of air pollution in various parts of the Earth’s atmosphere. Ensuring that such uses of space technology, for environmental analysis and other human and environmental security applications, is available now and for generations to come is one of the policy discussions encouraged by the Secure World Foundation (SWF), dedicated to promoting cooperative solutions for the secure and sustainable use of outer space for the benefit of humanity and the environment.
The Secure World Foundation works with governments, industry, international organizations and civil society to develop and promote ideas and actions for international collaboration regarding the safe, secure and sustainable use of outer space.
For the past six years, SWF has taken a leadership position with respect to its own operations by neutralizing its annual carbon emissions through its support of Carbonfund.org’s global carbon reduction projects.
“Our Foundation’s core values challenge us to be good stewards of all our resources to minimize our impact on the Earth. By upholding our core values, we feel that we show our shared dedication to achieving our mission and our commitment to a sustainable environment on Earth as well as in space.”
Carbonfund.org encourages all of our business partners to shoot for the stars in pursuing meaningful and long-term sustainability initiatives as an integral part of your business plan. Call us to discuss ways your business can achieve carbon neutral operations and support important clean air and renewable energy technology projects around the world.
While there’s been a lot of press about the increasing carbon emissions associated with rapidly expanding global technology usage, management consulting firm McKinsey & Company cites ways in which information and communications technologies can lead the way in reducing operational carbon emissions. CarbonFree® Business Partner A2 Hosting has been ahead of this curve for the past six years, offering its customers a greener, cleaner solution to server hosting.
A2 Hosting is a Linux based web hosting company based in Ann Arbor, Michigan providing a range of services including website hosting for personal homepages up to full service solutions for businesses of all sizes. And A2 Hosting is committed to ensuring responsible and ethical business practices including offsetting all server and equipment emissions with Carbonfund.org.
In 2007, A2 Hosting launched its FutureServe Green Hosting partnership with Carbonfund.org, supporting the development of energy efficiency technologies, clean renewable sources of energy, forestry and biodiversity preservation, and the resulting reduction of CO2 emissions on a global scale.
In December 2012, A2 Hosting launched hosting services in Reykjavik, Iceland. This hosting location is 100% green-powered by natural geothermal energy, and utilizes the frigid Iceland air to power its cooling units. Combining geothermal energy and natural cooling technologies allows the data center to run at very low power usage effectiveness levels and leaves no carbon footprint. And A2 Hosting is currently launching the ability to host sites using Solid State Drives (SSDs). SSD drives offer a greener footprint as they consume roughly one-third the amount of energy as traditional hard disks.
"We are committed to doing right by our customers and the environment,” says Bryan Muthig, Founder and CEO of A2 Hosting. “Until more clean energy solutions are available to everyone, we are pledging to offset our server emissions in order to help protect our fragile environment."
Since 2007, A2 Hosting has offset over 630 metric tonnes of carbon emissions, the equivalent of the carbon dioxide sequestered by almost 15,000 trees grown over a ten-year period.
A2 Hosting focuses on delivering the type of systems hosting they would want to use as a customer, which means all-inclusive hosting with no hidden fees, US-based around-the-clock customer support and ultra-reliable servers with high performance. This commitment to excellence in service and leadership in environmental responsibility make A2 Hosting a great example of a small business doing its part to help hasten our transition to a cleaner energy future.
Most Corporate Social Responsibility programs include Scope 3 employee business travel and commuting in annual operational carbon emissions calculations. Often, a review and audit of business travel patterns and choices reveal options to reduce the resulting business travel carbon emissions, and sometimes reduce the costs of business travel.
Since 1978, CarbonFree® Business Partner Topaz International has been a leader of audit and support services to the corporate travel industry, with the mission to deliver world-class customer service to its clients, including over half of the Fortune 1000 companies located in over 80 countries.
In 2007, Topaz International implemented several initiatives to streamline its operations and reduce its carbon emissions. Topaz became a 100% virtual organization, eliminating all office space and employee commuting, and joined the CarbonFree® Business Partnership program in order to neutralize its remaining carbon footprint and become a zero impact company to the environment. 2013 marks the sixth consecutive year that Topaz International has maintained this commitment to a CarbonFree® environment by supporting Carbonfund.org’s energy efficiency and renewable energy technology projects, and reforestation projects around the world.
“This is our effort to make earth a better place to live today and in the future. Each person and company must do their part to improve our environment for our children and working with Carbonfund.org is a great place to start,” asserts Bradley Seitz, President and CEO of Topaz International.
A great example of following our motto, “reduce what you can, offset what you can’t™”, Topaz International leads the corporate travel audit services industry by practicing what they preach to their clients and by operating CarbonFree®.
The CarbonFree® Business Partnership program was launched in 2007 with the goal of helping businesses of all sizes – start-ups through global Fortune 1000s – to make a commitment to environmentally-sustainable operations and to keep that commitment for the long haul.
Six years later, we’re honoring over 100 small businesses that have been consistent CarbonFree® Business Partners for the past five and six years. One of these businesses is Moxie Bookkeeping of Brooklyn, New York, started in 2004 by Ean Murphy, with the purpose to serve small operations and to make bookkeeping a valuable tool for making smart decisions instead of one more hassle at the end of a long week.
While Moxie Bookkeeping does not sell ‘green’ products, they’ve made the conscious decision to provide services in the most environmentally-responsible way possible. This included joining our CarbonFree® Business Partnership program in 2008. Moxie Bookkeeping makes an annual donation to Carbonfund.org in order to support our carbon reduction and clean energy innovation projects around the world. In addition, Moxie Bookkeeping focuses their service on electronic delivery wherever possible, to avoid printed statements and checks. Their office products are purchased through green product providers and recycling is mandatory in their offices.
“I can’t run my business without using electricity and natural resources,” says Ean Murphy. “I want to make sure I am an active part of the solution.” Through her long-term partnership with Carbonfund.org, Ean is able to provide her holistic bookkeeping services in a CarbonFree® work environment.